Turn It On And All The Way Up

“Lookin’ for some hot stuff baby this evenin'” –Donna Summer, Hot Stuff

It’s gotten cold here. I posted previously how Kosovo is “colder indoors than Americans are used to.”

I teach in two schools, the one in my village and our “satellite” school, which is in an even smaller village. The satellite school is heated by wood-burning stoves. This sounds like something out of a fairytale … imagine my students and me, circled up next to a warm fire, snow gently falling outside. In reality, the stoves aren’t on half the time, aren’t that effective, and make everything smell like wood smoke.

My situation is better at home, though. My host family’s house is heated by radiant heat, a rare luxury here, I have heard. I also live in a valley (not up a mountain). I am sure that will have an effect on how cold it gets in winter.

Our furnace burns these wood pellet things.

Processed with MOLDIV

They look similar to rodent food.

Processed with MOLDIV

Fact About Me
: I used to have two pet chinchillas. Their names were Hufflepuff and Bartleby. Shortly before I moved to Kosovo, they were adopted by my friend’s friends (a lovely couple with rodent-parenting experience). Giving up my pets was one of the sacrifices I made to join the Peace Corps. 😦

gray-chinchilla-and-black-ebony-chinchilla
Hufflepuff (left) and Bartleby, photos by my friend Katie

Another Fun Fact: Did you know that chinchillas have 50 strands of hair per hair shaft? In comparison, humans only have one strand of hair per hair shaft. Chinchillas are well equipped to handle the cold …

Me? I just have to rely on being a Midwesterner. (I survived 34 previous winters … right?)

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